MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — Divimara Nava, the wife of the man accused of killing five of his neighbors last week, appeared in court Wednesday.
It was the 52-year-old's first appearance after being arrested and charged with hindering the apprehension of a fugitive. The third-degree felony carries a sentence of 2-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Nava stood before a judge just after 10 a.m. while the probable cause was read by another person in the court.
They said that while they were searching for Francisco Oropeza, they interviewed Nava several times.
On Tuesday, law enforcement received a tip that he was hiding at a house on Summer Hollow Drive, which is in a neighborhood just north of SH 105 and east of Cut and Shoot, Texas. Authorities got to the house and set up a perimeter. When they went up to the house, they were met by Nava, who granted them permission to enter and search the residence.
That's when Oropeza was found hiding under some laundry in a closet.
During an interview with the FBI, Nava told them that her husband arrived at the house around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. They didn't say how he got there.
Nava said Oropeza took a shower and went to sleep. She said she went to get food for him in the morning and also delivered a message to his cousins asking for help getting him to Mexico. The family member said they wouldn't help.
A judge set Nava's bond at $250,000. During the appearance, Nava told the judge that she was not a United States citizen and was a citizen of Mexico.
A third person was also taken into custody for drug possession but authorities said the charges could be upgraded if they determine that he helped Oropeza hide.
KHOU 11 News got a copy of a protective order Oropeza's wife filed against him last summer. Prosecutors said she claimed that he beat her up. The protective order said he had to move out, couldn't have a gun and couldn't pick up their child from school.
The problem was that they couldn't find him to arrest him.
"The constable made several attempts over the course of weeks to make contact with him and was not able to make contact with Mr. Oropeza," San Jacinto District Attorney Todd Dillion said.
Government records also show that Oropeza has been deported four times and has a previous DWI conviction in Montgomery County.
Mass shooting details
“He told us he was on his property, and he could do what he wanted,” neighbor Wilson Garcia said.
Garcia, who survived the shooting, said he could see Oropeza on his front porch but couldn’t tell what he was doing. About 20 minutes after Garcia walked back from Oropeza's house, Oropeza started running toward him with a loaded rifle.
Garcia’s wife, Sonia Guzmán, was at the front door and was the first to die.
There were 15 people in the house at the time. Several of them were friends who had been there to join Guzmán on a church retreat. Oropeza seemed intent on killing everyone, Garcia said.
Oropeza escaped the area after the shooting and went on the run for about four days before he was caught.
Several guns were found at his home. Authorities said Oropeza was known to shoot his rifle in the front yard and that they've had numerous calls to the area.
Officials identified the victims as the following:
- Daniel Enrique Lazo, 9
- Jonathan Cáceres, 18
- Diana Velásquez, 21
- Sonia Guzmán, 28
- Obdulia Molina, 31
Editor's note: There have been discrepancies in the spelling of the names and the ages of the victims. We are using names and ages supplied by the Honduran government on May 1. Previous reporting used spelling and ages supplied earlier in the investigation by the Houston office of the FBI.
According to investigators, four of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene and 9-year-old Daniel died at an area hospital. Others were found covered in blood inside the home, but none of them were injured, according to authorities.
Oropeza is also accused of killing Cáceres and his girlfriend, Molina. According to sources, Molina leaves behind two children in the U.S. and two others in Honduras. Her family in Honduras said she was a fighter -- a woman with goals.
Oropeza also shot and killed 21-year-old Diana Velásquez, according to officials. She leaves behind her partner and their two kids.
The bodies of the victims will be flown back to Honduras to be buried.